left the group stagnating for another two albums until they parted ways With Prince Paul and pared back the goofiness for Sta/«es Is High. Since 96 they have discovered a simplicity and a confidence that the debut delivered only in patches.
Producing the first of their AO/ trilogy themselves but now working in equal measure with Dave West. they roll out some sublimely psychedelic NY soul on this second instalment. It's not as visionary as their debut perhaps (bits of it seiind like a retro take on Talib Kweli collaborator Hi- Tekl but throughout this album. sheer class touches everything. The wacky skits and musical eclecticism (samples include Wings. The Fat Boys and Fifth Dimension) are all fashioned into a fabulously stoned funk. De La Soul have never been so sexy.
ETHERIDGE Chasing Shadows
The acoustic string line- up and signature sound created by Diango Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli seven decades ago continues to exert an irresistible appeal on both players and listeners. Guitarist John Etheridge and his collaborators. Violinist Chris Garrick. rhythm guitarist Dave Kelbie and bassist Malcolm Creese. recreate that sound With effortless ease. but also demonstrate that the
formula still has room for
development in fresh directions. and toss in a couple of unexpected tune selections as well. notably Don Grolnick's "Nothing Personal' and a couple of Coltrane tunes. If you like this particular set-up. check this one out.
Film Music: 1980-2001 (Virgin) 0.0
Like Philip Glass. the prolific Nyman has one of the most distinctive sounds of any contemporary composer working in film. This two CD set tracks his progress. from the bumptiOLis energies of the early Peter Greenaway collaborations to more recent fare for Michael Winterbottom (Wonder/and. The Claim) and Neil Jordan (The End Of The Affair). Some might call it a degeneration into plaintive. elegant slush. Still, there's always the fruity formality of The Draughtsman Contract. the woe/y. stately tenacity of The Cook. The Thief. . . and the career-high of The Piano to compensate. At its best. Nyman's lTlUSlC can be Jaunty. lilaJCSth or both at once. (Donald Hutera)
Nobukazu Takemura Sign (Thrill Jockey) Beatific. )a/zy electronica from boffin and his pals from TortOise.
London Community Gospel Choir (Far) More saccarine-dipped massed vocal antics from this earnest. if workmanlike group. James B-Sides Ultra (Mercury) The sOuiid of a cash cow being hung out to dry as Tim Booth Jumps ship from the Manc septet.
Little T And One Track Mike Wings (At/antic) A worse name for a pop group you Will struggle to find after learning of these confused hip pop tarts.
Dog Toffee Sacred / leart (Sub Pop) Skanky Yank punks make their debut for the one—time home of grunge Sub Pop. Various Artists Huid Compilation (Hr/rd) linaginatively titled collection from UK progressive house label.
RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN (Activision) £24.99 0...
Here we go again. Yet another attempt to remove the first-person shooter title from the evergreen Half Life. But Return To Castle Wolfenstein certainly has the pedigree to mount a challenge. being the Successor to the title that invented the genre and developed by iD. creators of Quake.
The story is simple: World War II Na/is are taking their Ubermensch program to the limit. combining undead soldiers With biomechanical weaponry. and it is your job to stop them. All the levels are beautifully created. ranging from sneak-and-smpe countryside. through rubble-strevi/n street lighting. to the titular dark castle. Weaponry is basic but fun and the whole thing has Vaseline—slick presentation.
Yet it still lacks that rock solid scripting and involving story that made Half Life such a gem. Wolfenstein is well worth the money and. combined With the multiplayer element. will be played for months to come. It just doesn't Win that all-important crown. PSZ JAK AND DAXTER (Sony) £39.99 0000
It is strange to think that a console of the P823; standard still lacks a quality platform adventure. the mainstay of consoles s' ::e day (lot. Thank goodness
then for Jak And Daxter. one of the finest to appear on any machine. old or new. The background story. involving ancient artefacts and dark energy. adds little to the enjoyment. What does make it special are the well-crafted puzzles. whether in level-layOut or the plethora of mini- games that make up the bulk of the play.
Control of our heroes is simple yet is constantly tested by some Wicked game designers. with each level dragging something new from even the most ham- fisted of players. The visuals are crisp. speedy and often prompt moments of awe. while the detail lends the game the perception of depth. A special mention should also go to the humour. It might be ladled on thick but it actually works. Jak And Daxter might not be the most inventive of titles but it is hard to imagine anyone being disappointed with it.
GHOST RECON (Ubi Soft) £24.99 0000
The prevrous Rainbow Six titles split gamers right down the middle. Some hated it. s\.'-.rearing Wildly at the clumsy team management sections. while the rest loved it. revelling in the realistic close combat and meticulous planning. Ghost Recon is unlikely to bridge this divide. indeed it may very well widen it.
The maps are still there. the squad. weapOn and equipment selection is still there and the vicious. one-hit-
death fighting remains. But everything has been given a spring clean. resulting in a game that looks glorious. is simpler to control than its predecessors and. due to its more militaristic approach. brings something new to the series. Your team reacts more like trained militia. the enemy are more cunning and the environments are more varied. Fans of the series will crawl through broken glass for this. New players may still feel a little lost though.
PS2 SOUL REAVER 2 (Eidos) £39.99 on
Ra/iel. Devourer of Souls. has had a hard afterlife. Thrown in to the pits of hell by a malicious vampire king. burned hollow by his guest for vengeance and missing his lower )aw. it ain't all graw being dead.
Those familiar With Ra/iel's battle against the owl Kain Will lllllllOdthtOly feel at home here. The game system is almost identical to the preVious title. With the sWitch between ghostly worlds remaining in all its glory. Lower )aw not withstanding. the game has received a huge facelift and the \.vorl(ls of the dead now look darker. more detailed and a little scarier than before.
But this is still the same ()21iifr3 (ill(f. (if; g)()()(l (is; that game is. it is a little disappointing that nothing new has been attempted. If you didn't play Soul Reaver. or played it and loved it. then this is worth a shot. Those in the so—so camp should perhaps; avoid. As for that )aw. it looks like it's gone for good.
pc FRANK HERBERT’S DUNE
(Cryo) £29.99 0000
First things first. You do not need to have read the Dune books to enjoy Frank Herbert 's Dune. However. as with the infamOus Cinematic version from David Lynch. getting the most out of the experience really does rely on background information.
In defence of the game. it delivers a fair amount of the mythology and politics involved in the Dune world. Subtly expressed as you delve into this en)oyable action-adventure. Paul Atreides must learn the ways of the Fremen. the sand warriors. so his family can gain control of Dune. the most important planet in the universe.
The challenge is beautifully paced while the combat and ‘weirding' magic is fun to learn. Some may feel threatened by the depth. others patronised by the explanations. but most should enjoy the smrple missions and clever story. And remember . . . the Spice must flow! (lain Davidson)
Creatures IGBA SW/ng £134.99) The ultimate Tamagotchi.
Dropship (P82 Sony £739.99) Nothing to do wrth Titanic.
Sunny Garcia Surfing (P82 Uhi Soft £39.99) Aquatic Tony Hawks. Shadow Of Zorro (PC Cryo 524.99) One man. One mask. One Justice. Salt Lake 2002 (PSQ/PC Eidos £404.90) Perfect for apres—ski.
Gain control of Dune, the most important planet in the universe
‘i' ll": itV-ﬁ.‘ THE LIST 87